Birth Control

Wow, that's a loaded topic! Some people think it is immoral, others think it is an absolute must. It is your choice because you and often, your partner will have to live with the consequences of a pregnancy, a birth, or, sometimes, an abortion or still born baby. Not every instance of sex results in pregnancy but many might, so, throughout human history, we have been trying to keep that pleasure of sex and minimize the sometime consequences of sexual intercourse.

These attempts have had many versions. Crocodile or elephant dung. Chastity belts. Drinking poisonous compounds; as recently as WW2, some women wanted to work with lead in the hopes that it would make them infertile. That didn't work but lead can result in multiple organ failure as a start. Condoms? Some form of those have been around as far back as 3000 B.C.- things like goat  or fish bladders, sheep intestines, linen have been documented. How about a little magic, using mule's earwax and weasel testicle? Want more taste of bizarre attempts to control human reproduction on a personal level? These examples and more  were found at WebMd.

Fortunately we now know more about human reproduction and what is likely to work as "contraception", (against conception). Contraception today consists of many hormonal treatments to fool a female body into not releasing an egg, as well as "barrier methods" like the popular and easy to find condom, that attempt to place a barrier between sperm and an egg. Almost none of these is 100% effective and many do nothing or little to prevent transmitting certain infections. But having sex, how much to have and what you are OK with doing must be your personal choice. And if you have a partner for it, they must be OK with it all too. So, choice of birth control is also personal and should be OK with partners.

Information in this section is very general; often you will be best off to ask a medical person, especially if you are female; age, diet, medical conditions may all have an effect on your menstrual cycle, affecting fertility.

Click here or on the Birth Control tab.

Cervical Cap
Approximate effectiveness: 90%

No protection against STDs

The Cervical Cap is like a smaller version of the Diaphragm. It looks like a rubber or plastic thimble. To use it, it must be placed into the vagina and it must cover the cervix. It must be placed against the cervix at least a half hour before having sex and must be left in place at least eight hours. It may be left in place for as long as two days. Your doctor or gynecologist must be consulted about fitting and how long it should be left in.

The cervical cap offers a barrier to any sperm trying to reach the cervix. If sperm can't get through the cervix to the uterus then they can't fertilise an egg. It can be used many times and can be used with, or without spermicide which may or may not increase the effectiveness of preventing pregnancy.(Not everyone agrees on whether the spermicide makes a difference in failure rates. The cap may be slightly uncomfortable but if it is properly fitted by your doctor, there should be minimal or no discomfort. To be effective it must fit properly and must be inserted properly and that may take some practice. Even a properly fitted cervical cap, because it is essentially held in place by suction at the cervix, could be knocked out of place during sexual intercourse. As well, you should get a checkup every three months.

You'd be well advised to discuss the Cap with your doctor.